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Wal-Mart’s wages are too low
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 26, 2006

And, the stores hurt Mom and Pop businesses (of course that's usually because Mom and Pop's prices are too high and consumers vote with their dollars in favor of making their money go further with Wal-Mart than supporting Mom and Pop's lifestyle).

Or so goes the conventional wisdom among certain members of the ruling elite. If true, one has to wonder why things like this keep happening:
Eighteen months after the Chicago City Council torpedoed a South Side Wal-Mart, 24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening Friday in south suburban Evergreen Park, one block outside the city limits.

The new Wal-Mart at 2500 W. 95th is one block west of Western Avenue, the city boundary.

Of 25,000 job applicants, all but 500 listed Chicago address.
And, of course, this just bothers the heck out of those who tried to block Wal-Mart from building in that area:
"I always tell people I'm not for Wal-Mart, but I am for that project coming into the city and to my ward. We can't beat them," said Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st). "The same things they talk about Wal-Mart doing to Small Town U.S.A when they build on the outskirts of town is the same thing they have done to the City of Chicago without fanfare. Nobody distinguishes that if I cross Western Avenue at 95th Street, I am no longer in Chicago. For all practical purposes, Wal-Mart is in the city of Chicago without us receiving any benefit. You're going to see the parking lot filled with cars with Chicago city stickers."
IOW "I don't like Wal-Mart but I like the tax revenues Wal-Mart might bring."

Well suck it up, Buttercup. You out-smarted yourself on this one. And frankly, I think it's hilarious.
 
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For all practical purposes, Wal-Mart is in the city of Chicago without us receiving any benefit,
Wouldn’t it be great to see the entire state of Maryland in a similar situation?
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
There’s no shortage of arrogant city leaders than think they can sweep back the ocean. Here in Tennessee, for the years the decision makers in Brentwood (south of Nashville) pursued very restrictive growth policies.

The developers here did exactly the same thing as Wal-Mart in Chicago. They bought huge swaths of land just outside the borders of the city, and developed the area now known as Cool Springs. It’s probably the most economically dynamic area in Tennessee right now.

Of course, being right on the edge of all this, Brentwood got the traffic, but they didn’t get the taxes. Poor guys.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
God, you gotta love a combination of low transaction costs and consumer choice. Just routes right around the economic morons, doesn’t it?

They’re getting what they deserve.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
I work at Wal-Mart as a part time gig, and I don’t think their wages are too low. And getting the benefits briefing at orientation, their bennies are really not all that bad for the type of people (low income, no health ins.) that would work at Wal-Mart full time. I enjoy the work (I stock shelves) and it is no stress, no real thinking kind of job (I get enough of that from my full-time gig). But, I never thought like that until I started working there.
 
Written By: Morgyman
URL: http://
"24,500 Chicagoans applied for 325 jobs at a Wal-Mart opening"

Well of course this happened because these people don’t know what’s best for them and didn’t listen to their political/union leadership. Job-seeking, life-bettering fools.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
So does that mean it’s harder to get a job at Walmart than to get into Harvard?
 
Written By: Daniel
URL: http://www.publiuspundit.com/
Well suck it up, Buttercup. You out-smarted yourself on this one.
Ha, I love that line...classic!
 
Written By: intelrupt
URL: http://
I thought it was juvenile. The point that’s missed by the poster is that the reason Mom & Pop (ie Joe Yank) have the good lifestyle is because their income remains in the local economy and is recirculated to other Mom & Pop businesses. A large number of small businesses will always be better than a small number of large businesses for all manner of reasons, not least the reduced leakage of generated wealth out of the local economy, the quality of working life, the sense of freedom and independence, the improved circulation of wealth among the population.....the list goes on and on. Why would anyone choose a corporate McJob over running their own business, or working for people from your own community ?

Once the local competition disappears (lost business and jobs)....Wal-Mart’s prices will being to reflect the reduced competitive pressure, so you’re back to square 1, except that all the profits now go to whoever owns Wal-Mart, instead of Mom & Pop American. It baffles me why you would want this....
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
A large number of small businesses will always be better than a small number of large businesses for all manner of reasons, not least the reduced leakage of generated wealth out of the local economy ...
So you know, mercantilism was tried and discarded more than two hundred years ago.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I thought it was juvenile. The point that’s missed by the poster is that the reason Mom & Pop (ie Joe Yank) have the good lifestyle is because their income remains in the local economy and is recirculated to other Mom & Pop businesses.


And I assume the salaries of the Wal-Mart employees fly to the moon as soon as they walk out the door, right?

Sorry, this one doesn’t pass the smell test.

The Mom and Pop question has been answered in town after town by those who vote with their dollars. Since it’s their money, and it is they who set the priorities on how they spend their money, that trend will continue. Few if any smart people are going to decide to pay more for a commodity just to keep a store which has really not done much of anything but be convenient in business.

If another store came along which was able to consistently undercut Wal-Mart, I doubt there’d be much in the form of "brand loyalty" to keep people shopping in Wal-Mart.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Few if any smart people are going to decide to pay more for a commodity just to keep a store which has really not done much of anything but be convenient in business.

On the other hand, my parents own a "Mom and Pop" photo development store that directly competes with a Wal-Mart supercenter in their town. They are able to charge higher for their services and remain profitable because of the higher quality product. They know what they are doing, unlike the photo "techs"(in name only) that work the Wal-Mart photo centers. The offer better customer service as well, so more people, including government offices are willing to spend more to get better.
 
Written By: Morgyman
URL: http://
That’s a good point, Morgyman ... if you have a method of providing some value that is superior and important to people, a good percentage of them are indeed willing to pay more. Good for you folks.

That’s also the reason I prefer to go to Wolf Photo to get my pics done ... they know what they’re doing.

But if I’m buying a commodity, it’s Wal-Mart for me.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
But if I’m buying a commodity, it’s Wal-Mart for me.

But, I have seen how their trucks of goods are delivered to the store, and I won’t buy any thing of high value from there. Seeing how much gets returned on a daily basis and how the boxes/pallets are thrown around, I would rather spend a little more, or buy online straight from a manufacturer than get something that will just be returned. For example, I work in Housewares, and we sell a vacuum for 39.88. I kept track for a month how many we sold and how many were returned for defects. I didn’t count the ones that the people returned because the customer didn’t like it. We sold 54 of them for that month that I saw go out the store. 38 that I was able to see during my hours got returned for making noises, smelling wierd, not working, etc. Approx 70%.
 
Written By: Morgyman
URL: http://
So you know, mercantilism was tried and discarded more than two hundred years ago.
Indeed. But it was probably better for most people, just not better for those at the top.

Are you seriously suggesting that a single-supplier market is preferable to a lively mercantile economy of competing private businesses, in ever possible scenario ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
And I assume the salaries of the Wal-Mart employees fly to the moon as soon as they walk out the door, right?
The local wealth retained within and earned by those who own and work for the Mom & Pop businesses is invariably of greater value than the incomes earned by the Wal-Mart employees (and as I have already pointed out, has a stronger multiplier).
The Mom and Pop question has been answered in town after town by those who vote with their dollars. Since it’s their money, and it is they who set the priorities on how they spend their money, that trend will continue. Few if any smart people are going to decide to pay more for a commodity just to keep a store which has really not done much of anything but be convenient in business.
Indeed, there will always be the thoughtless or poor who only look as far as the dollars in their pockets today, without considering the consequences of their actions tomorrow - and there will always be those who wish to impoverish them, to line their own pockets. This is why we have geographically representative government - so that people can elect those they believe have the talent and ability to best represent the community’s collective interests.
If another store came along which was able to consistently undercut Wal-Mart, I doubt there’d be much in the form of "brand loyalty" to keep people shopping in Wal-Mart.
There won’t be, because the barriers to entry in that market will be set too high by Wal-Mart.
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Are you seriously suggesting that a single-supplier market is preferable to a lively mercantile economy of competing private businesses, in ever possible scenario ?
In a free market, a monopoly only exists so long as it is more beneficial than multiple suppliers.

Where is Wal-Mart the sole competitor?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
But if I’m buying a commodity, it’s Wal-Mart for me.
OK fair enough. Let’s say everybody agrees on this and Wal-Mart is the place to go. If Wal-Mart continues to dominate the domestic commodities market, indeed eventually eliminates all competition (assuming it can’t be said to have done so already for many of its commodities), and no change is forseeable, would you say that this is a satisfactory state of affairs ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Let’s say everybody agrees on this and Wal-Mart is the place to go. If Wal-Mart continues to dominate the domestic commodities market, indeed eventually eliminates all competition (assuming it can’t be said to have done so already for many of its commodities), and no change is forseeable, would you say that this is a satisfactory state of affairs ?
I see no particular problem with it, as improbable as it is. If your next attempt is to then say that Wal-Mart is free to then raise it’s price on commodities, I’d agree. I’d also agree that then they provide entree into the market for other purveyors who are willing to sell at the old price.

Kind of the way the market works.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
If Wal-Mart continues to dominate the domestic commodities market, indeed eventually eliminates all competition
Again, when and where has that happened? People were saying the same thing about Woolworth, A&P and other general stores decades ago. Where are they now?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I see no particular problem with it, as improbable as it is. If your next attempt is to then say that Wal-Mart is free to then raise it’s price on commodities, I’d agree. I’d also agree that then they provide entree into the market for other purveyors who are willing to sell at the old price.
To an extent, yes, but there will be a margin of difference between the old market price and the price at which new entrants will appear (new price higher) simply because the previous existing businesses were established, and capital costs were already paid off etc. So not only is the new price higher, but also a great many people’s lives have been disrupted by lost businesses and employment, and now there is only one set of shareholders earning profit on their business, where previously there were several.

Polarised wealth and increased market barriers. You say this is good ?
 
Written By: Blewyn
URL: http://
Blewyn,

Competition is anything and everything you can exchange for anything, including money; and that anything includes simply holding the money. Capitalism respects competition, not discrete, named, competitors. Since people voluntarily exchange if and only if the exchange is perceived by the parties involved to be beneficial at that time and place; no one else has any right to interfere in any manner. Wal-Mart cannot hurt a "Mom and Pop" business if said "Mom and Pop" business meets the customer’s needs in any way better than Wal-Mart unless the government imposes bad policies.

Also, there is nothing wrong with polarized wealth or increased market ’barriers’ if that is the result of the decisions made by the market’s participants. Government interference is another matter.
 
Written By: Charles D. Quarles
URL: http://spaces.msn.com/members/cdquarles/

 
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